How is failure to diagnose considered medical malpractice?

While there are many ways that a doctor can err when treating a patient, a failure to diagnose is among the most serious. When people in San Bernardino think of medical malpractice, they might think of an error in surgery or a doctor writing inappropriate prescriptions. However, a diagnosis error can come with equally dire consequences.

The disadvantages of failure to diagnose are two-fold. First, is the detriment of being treated for a illness or condition that the patient is not suffering from. Side effects from treatment can worsen the patient's condition or quality of life. The second big problem with misdiagnosis is that the original condition is not being treated and can possibly get worse in the time it takes to be diagnosed. This is probably the most serious consequence of this medical malpractice claim.

Time is usually of the essence when treating a condition or illness. If doctors are able to catch a condition or disease in its early stages, the patient may have more available treatment options and a better prognosis. Often, failure to diagnose can make a condition much worse than it ever needed to be due to lack of treatment. A doctor is considered negligent if failure to diagnose is proven.

For some patients, the road to health could have been much shorter if doctors had correctly diagnosed and treated them. Patients in this situation should consider their options for recovering for these losses that were beyond their control. It can become possible with a medical malpractice suit.

Source: FindLaw, "Failed/Erroneous Diagnosis and Treatment," Accessed April 13, 2015

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